User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is the critical phase of any software implementation. The success of a project relies on a sound UAT execution.
The key users and Subject Matter Experts (SME) of the business are responsible for UAT.
If you do not engage the SMEs earlier in the project, you may experience signs of change resistance during the UAT execution.
You may hear a few of the following issues from SMEs during UAT execution. Therefore, you must distil the real problems from the change resistance grievances:
‘We need more training’
This is generally passing the buck tactic. Project team may request for more training. It is essential to know why it is necessary? Get to root cause of the need for additional training.
‘System is complex’
This is push back tactic. If you hear such vague information, then seek specific facts:
Where is the complexity? Is it because of the lack of familiarity in the new system or different process? What is required to simplify the system, for example – simplify UI, develop a cheat sheet?
‘System is not complete’
This is a delay tactic. Instead of testing what is ready to test, the SMEs point out the missing features in the system. They argue to have a complete system so they can test all at once.
This is a deception tactic. You may experience that few SMEs switch to analysis mode and try to test and find issues hypothetically. The testing is not real, and the problems too.
‘Our Business is different’
This is a direct resistance to change. It means that the SMEs want to customise the packaged software (ERP) according to the current business processes. If we do not manage this carefully, the project can go out of hands quite quickly.
‘Project schedule is very aggressive’
This is another delay tactic. The SMEs convey to us that they have day jobs, and they cannot commit to the testing. It is a resource management issue, therefore involve the line managers.
‘I am busy’
It is ignorance tactic. It implies a lack of engagement and commitment to the project. It is a severe problem because the other team members can follow the same path too.
‘Where you want me to click’
This is a submission tactic. Core project team do not take full control over the testing. They keep relying on the project team for hand-holding.
‘It is all good’
This is a deception tactic. Without putting effort into testing, the team members reports ‘it is all good’. If you do not address this in time, then you can experience a lot many issues just before or after Go-Live.
To conclude, it is common for project leadership to experience such issues during the testing. Therefore, be prepared, listen and support the testing team. We must acknowledge that the team is learning a new system and experiencing change. Read more about ‘The Change Curve’
(NOTE: The diagram is not my work)